Before undergoing any surgical procedure it is a wise idea to discuss all of the potential benefits, side effects, and risks with your doctor or surgery facility. This is just as true with LASIK eye surgery as it is with any other procedure as visual acuity can have a great impact on a person’s perceived quality of life. Each candidate must be individually assessed based on their unique general and optical health as well as their expectations and understanding of the risks involved.
There are many questions you should ask your surgeon when considering a LASIK treatment in order to make sure you are making an informed decision:
Is my prescription within the approved range?
LASIK treatments are specifically approved by the FDA for treatment of near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism within specific ranges. Severe refractive error increases the likelihood that a secondary treatment will be required.
Is my eyesight sufficiently stable for LASIK treatment?
This is crucial for accurate measurements and thus accurate treatment. Stability is determined by checking the prescription in order to identify any fluctuations in refractive error.
Are my lifestyle choices compatible with LASIK treatments?
This can cover concerns related to work, family life, and sports and recreation activities. It is important to consider your plans and desires for the future as well. LASIK procedures carry a small but lifelong risk of flap dislocation if significant trauma occurs to the eye area. For this reason, those involved in contact sports such as boxing, martial arts, and wrestling might not be good candidates for LASIK and may benefit from a different type of refractive eye surgery such as PRK.
What results should I expect? What are the best and worst case scenarios? What are the most common side effects?
In order to make an informed decision, the prospective patient must have a full understanding of what to expect from their procedure from long-term results to side effects to recovery time and potential complications.
How long is the recovery period?
You may need to plan ahead and make adjustments to your work and home life in order to accommodate the requirements of the healing period. You may be required to avoid certain activities or environments during the healing process.
How should I prepare for surgery?
If you wear contact lenses you will be instructed to stop wearing them for a specific period of time leading up to the preoperative visit and surgery. This is because contact lenses can change the shape of the cornea resulting in inaccurate measurements prior to surgery. The length of time for which you will need to stop wearing contacts before your procedure will be determined by your surgeon based on the type of contacts.